I’ve had the good fortune of visiting the Ju Ming Museum in New Taipei. Ju Ming is a revered sculptor in Taiwan, New York and Paris. I am moved by the man and his work. Also by his capacity to identify and maintain a process of genuinely becoming and being himself–and, for expressing his unique creative talents.
In his teens Ju Ming apprenticed as a wood carver and though receiving accolades for his work, he wanted to become and express more. He re-apprenticed himself to a sculptor who directed him to take up Tai Chi. He continues the practice to this day. After his apprenticeship he realized that were he to become more than a younger version of his mentor, he needed to let go of everything he had learned, from him and his first mentor. Additionally he let go of attending to the amalgam of domesticating voices in his head.
In this letting go he began feeling into and listening to the materials he worked with. They partnered with him co-informing the singularly of his creativity. All these disciplines he labeled “self-cultivation”.
This is the loveliest and most succinct articulation of the necessary processes for fulfilling our human promise of becoming truly ourselves, and expressing our unique creative talents. The wisdom of his second mentor needs mention: asking Ju Ming to undertake a movement practice involving Chi (energy distinct from body and mind) enabled Ming to open in Awareness to the Mystery’s Intent Forces thereby informing his creativity. Utterly brilliant!